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Nanci Silver-Boice (she/her/hers) has a wealth of experience, having worked as a licensed therapist since 2011. Her background includes extensive work in academic settings, private clinics, and non-profit organizations. Notably, she served as the lead counselor at a children's grief residential camp for six years, demonstrating her dedication to supporting individuals and families during challenging times. Outside of the counseling world, Nanci was also a licensed attorney, practicing in the state of Texas. 


As an LPC-S and LMFT-S, Nanci brings a high level of expertise and is well-equipped to guide our clinical team. Her experience with children, couples, and families facing life changes due to chronic and terminal illnesses aligns seamlessly with our mission. Nanci has a commitment to compassionate care.


Rachel Saffer (she/her/hers) earned her Masters of Social Work from Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Rachel has experience in providing counseling to adults, teenagers and children who have experienced significant trauma in both group and individual settings.  Rachel utilizes various interventions in her practice including therapeutic yoga, EMDR, and traditional play therapy. She believes in providing every client with a welcoming and safe environment so that they can work towards healing on their own terms. 

Supervised by JOE DIAS MEd, LPC-S
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Joey Fechtel (he/him/his) was born and raised in Texas and recently graduated with his Master of Arts in Counseling from St. Edward's University. From his personal loss journey, Joey has felt the power of support when experiencing grief and loss. It is his privilege to be in the room working with folks finding their way along the difficult, transformative path of grief. Joey works with individuals of all ages and cherishes the different perspectives of people from all walks of life. In his spare time, Joey enjoys Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, cooking, playing guitar, hiking, biking, listening to all kinds of music, and hanging out with his two cats.


Elaine Dunn (she/her/hers) is a therapist with 14 years of professional practice working with adults, children, teens and families. Elaine started her journey with Austin Center for Grief & Loss as a support group volunteer, and after moving away, and then back to Austin, she’s found her way back this remarkable place of connection. Elaine approaches therapy with the goal of helping folks to be seen and heard in a safe space, while collaborating to see their strengths and build connections that will serve them throughout their journey. Elaine has experience working in community mental health, assisting with folks from diverse walks of life in midst of grief, loss and life transitions, managing mood disorders, post-traumatic

stress, anxiety disorders, acute stress and struggling with addiction. In addition to experience working with folks on their individual healing journey, Elaine has extensive experience leading therapeutic groups, and finds group work to be incredibly rewarding and connective. Elaine utilizes an eclectic mix of modalities to find the right fit for each person, and her experience includes cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (including use of mindfulness), solution-focused, and she loves to practice and bring into therapy creative ways to process and integrate experiences. In her free time, Elaine loves running and hiking local Austin trails, listening to audio books, experimenting with new baking recipes, traveling and playing outdoors with her family.

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Jill Arechiga (she/they/them)

Has a loved one died recently or even many years ago? Do you feel you should “move on” or “be past it”? Are friends telling you it is time to start dating again? Perhaps you are tired of being told “you’re doing so good” when you feel lost, scared, and upside down. Would you like a deeper understanding of your grief and its process? For 14 years, Jill has helped people manage difficult end-of-life decisions and the devastation that comes after death. Jill's goal is to provide a safe and empathic space so you can confront the most difficult of emotions while exploring your ability to transform from them. They are happy to walk alongside you while you navigate this path. Jill's approach is informal, eclectic, collaborative, and client-centered. Many of Jill's clients describe them as authentic, calming, warm, and humorous.

Please know that even though the journey is hard, Jill would be honored to assist you.  Jill also has a particular interest in helping people with advanced directives (tackling those difficult end-of-life decisions). When it comes to self-care, she can be found exploring the waters of Central Texas in her kayak and making needle-felted hearts.


Jessica Marquez (she/her/hers) is a bilingual therapist with over 15 years of professional experience working with children, adults, and families. She has worked in public schools providing therapeutic support, resource referral, and educational advocacy for students. Additionally, Jessica has a background in leading psycho-educational groups for adults experiencing a substance abuse disorder. Jessica believes that each individual can empower themselves and take charge of their life path.  She assists individuals to achieve self-empowerment by utilizing various therapeutic approaches such as trauma-informed interventions, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, mindfulness, and strengths-based interventions.  Jessica también trabaja con clientes que hablan español, especialmente clientes inmigrantes.

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Jessica has called Central Texas home since 2000.  She enjoys going on nature walks and spending time with her friends and family.



Mark Killian (he/him/his) earned his Master of Arts in Counseling from Texas State University, focusing primarily on bereavement, life transitions, personal narratives, trauma, anxiety, and depression. He combines existential philosophy with empirically proven interventions (DBT, ACT, CBT) to accompany clients on their healing journeys. As a counselor, Mark considers himself a trusty sidekick: helping clients find their way through the fog of grief by collaboratively identifying obstacles, brainstorming solutions, and putting plans into motion. He strives to create an engaging environment where clients feel safe experiencing and expressing the vast array of emotions that arise from loss. Outside of the counseling room, Mark enjoys spending time with loved ones, reading, writing, running, and pondering life’s biggest questions.


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Heather Vikstedt (she/her/hers) earned her Master’s in Professional Counseling from Texas State University in 2019. Her journey towards a career in counseling began as a group facilitator working with people in recovery from trauma, addiction, and co-dependency. Through this experience she discovered a passion for walking alongside people as they heal from some of the most difficult experiences of their lives. Heather believes that we all have unique life experiences that shape how we view ourselves, others, and the world around us. Our life experiences may have left us with a great deal of pain and distress, feeling stuck, lost and confused, or like life is unmanageable. As a counselor, Heather strives to build relationships where clients feel connected, acknowledged for who they are, and 

fully accepted in a safe and compassionate environment. In working alongside her clients, Heather utilizes a number of interventions to facilitate the discovery of their own strengths, resilience, and power as they heal. Heather has experience working with clients of all ages who are dealing with grief and loss, traumatic experiences, anxiety, depression, substance use, self-esteem, relationship difficulties, and family conflict. Outside of work, Heather enjoys spending time hiking, biking, and playing games with family and friends.


Lynne Levinson (she/her/hers) has been a licensed professional counselor since 1992. She came to The Austin Center for Grief & Loss in 2017 after over 20 years at the University of Texas at Austin where she was a career counselor, manager, and administrator. Prior to that, she was in private practice where she specialized in trauma counseling and couples counseling. Lynne is a certified EMDR therapist. While she has been trained in many counseling modalities, she primarily utilizes EMDR and Somatic Experiencing to support adults experiencing trauma, grief and loss. Like many counselors who are drawn to grief counseling, Lynne came to this work through her own personal experiences of loss, including sudden death loss, expected death loss, as well as job loss. She recognizes that many of us seek not only empathy but also guidance as we navigate the grief process, and she honors the

desire for both deep connection and insightful guidance in her counseling. Lynne also volunteers at Hospice Austin where she sings with Threshold Choir for patients in hospice. She has practiced meditation and yoga for all of her adult life and honors death, as well as grief, as part of a greater whole.

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Christi Neville (she/her/hers) earned her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver in 1999, and following her own personal experience with sudden partner loss, has dedicated the last twenty years to the field of bereavement.   Within this specialty, she has enjoyed working both in private practice, and a variety of nonprofit positions, including many years with hospice bereavement programs, teaching graduate-level grief courses, and coordinating grief support groups for all types of loss.  Her therapeutic work incorporates mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, and other approaches that are strength-based, trauma-informed, and solution-focused.  Grounded in a compassionate presence and a belief in the resiliency of the human spirit,

Christi fosters hope, healing, and empowerment in each person’s unique journey through loss. In her spare time, Christi enjoys music, camping, and all kinds of outdoor adventures with her son. 

Supervised by GIANNA VIOLA, LCSW-S
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Suzie Shelby (she/her/hers) earned her Master of Social Work from Smith College for Social Work in Northampton, Massachusetts. She has a Bachelor of Art in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Denver and a Master of Science in Special Education from the University of Tennessee. She is also a Licensed Massage Therapist. Suzie’s career paths have organically unfolded with her experiences as a Special Education Teacher at the Texas School for the Deaf and as a Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in working with individuals affected by cancer and trauma, paving the way for a third career in social work. Suzie was drawn to the message of hope and healing at The Austin Center for Grief & Loss and started as a Volunteer Support Group 

Facilitator. Her interest in grief and loss counseling grew out of her personal experiences with familial cancer, anticipated loss, sudden death loss, and relationship loss. She has come to appreciate the difficulties and the potential posttraumatic growth of the grief journey, as well as, how unique each person’s grief journey is. Some of the healing modalities she uses to support those experiencing trauma, grief, and loss include Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Mindfulness, and Mind-Body techniques. Suzie believes in creating a safe and welcoming space for each person to heal in their own way and at their own pace while providing therapeutic companionship along the way. Suzie’s self-care includes spending time in nature, lap swimming, especially under the moon and stars at night, and meditating.

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Chanveen Taneja (she/her/hers) is a licensed professional counselor associate in the State of Texas. She earned her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colorado. Chanveen is passionate about helping people who want to explore spirituality and, in the process, understand their purpose and meaning in life. She believes we are all spiritual beings here to live meaningful lives. Anxiety, depression, self-esteem, life transitions, grief and loss, identity, and many other issues can be resolved when one can comprehend the big picture of life and how every piece of the puzzle fits in it, including our existence. Her knowledge about reincarnation and the law of karma forms the lens and aids her to discern the current life

challenges one is going through. Chanveen aspires to help individuals cultivate self-confidence, self-healing, and self-acceptance.  She offers counseling from a holistic perspective that considers the whole person: mind, body, and spirit.

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Kristina Sarkisova (she/her/ella) is a psychotherapist who is passionate about supporting people as they navigate loss, whether sustained by death or through changes in function, identity, or relationships and community. She’s loved being a volunteer support group facilitator at ACGL, gained further experience working with grief as part of the Bereavement Counseling team at Hospice Austin, and now works with adult individuals at Central Austin Psychotherapy. Her areas of focus include chronic illness, chronic pain, trauma, neurodivergence, disability, and grief, and she strives to create an inclusive space for all. 

Kristina has a multi-cultural background and is bilingual (English/ Español), having grown up in

Spain. She obtained her BSc in Psychology in London (where she also had a past life as a musician) and is now proud to call Austin home after moving here to earn her MSSW at UT, which she did in 2023. She is certified in Pain Reprocessing Therapy and is completing certifications in Trauma-Informed clinical practice, Somatic Psychotherapy for trauma treatment, and eating disorder recovery through a Body Liberation lens. When she’s not supporting people as they heal, she loves hiking Austin’s many trails with her dog Tabasco, enjoying pastries, curling up with a good book, and going to the movies.


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Katie Mozier (she/her/hers) was born and raised in New Orleans, LA where she completed her B.S. in Psychology just after Hurricane Katrina. After her own powerful experience of loss, she moved to Austin, TX in 2014, finding strength in community and deepening her relationships throughout her grief journey. Katie is a graduate of the Professional Counseling Master’s program at Texas State University, where she focused her work on grief and loss, stress and trauma, and substance abuse. Particularly, Katie is passionate about group work, where people can find understanding, empathy, and a community of support.

When not engaged in conversations about the big questions of life, Katie loves to hang out

with her partner and giant dog, listen to podcasts while cooking, explore new restaurants and venues with her friends, and hunt at thrift shops for treasures of the past.

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Julie Biechlin (she/her/hers) earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas – Austin. She worked many years as a Disability Examiner for DARS, and in in inpatient psychiatric settings, residential treatment and outpatient counseling. Julie was drawn to the field of grief counseling as a result of her own personal loss and to share what she has learned personally and professionally in navigating the grief journey and recovery. Julie sees her role as joining with the client, to witness their process, normalizing and validating their experience, and collaborating to create their new identity and meaning of their loss. In her spare time she enjoys Pilates, hanging out with her adult children and their families and playing almost any racquet sport.

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Nadia Velasquez, LCSW-S (she/her/hers) is a graduate of the University of Texas, Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board Approved Social Work Supervisor.  Nadia began her career in the non-profit sector as a hospice social worker providing anticipatory grief and loss support to patients and families coping with a terminal prognosis. Nadia continues her passion of advocating for accessible mental health services for all. 


Laura Babineau (she/her/hers) earned her Master’s in Special Education from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT, her Master’s in Counseling from St. Edwards University in Austin, and has trained in EMDR trauma therapy.  Laura started her career as a Special Education teacher in Vermont and Massachusetts before moving to Austin in 2006.  Laura has an extensive background in facilitating support groups and has been a group facilitator at The Austin Center for Grief & Loss since 2014.  Her own grief experience has given her a strong belief in the strength, wisdom, and resilience of the human spirit, and the personal growth that can result from experiences with grief and trauma.  She considers it an honor to walk beside her clients on their personal grief journey. Laura enjoys playing music, spending time with her family, and hiking around Austin.

KELSEY WILLIAMS, BA, Social Work Graduate Student
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Kelsey Williams (they/them) is a nonbinary, queer writer and artist and social work graduate student. Kelsey will be graduating from UT Austin’s Steve Hicks School of Social Work with their MSSW in May 2024. Kelsey is passionate about creating a space for LGBTQIA2+ affirming therapy and helping individuals who may be experiencing anxiety and depression related to grief & loss. Kelsey aims to use abolitionist, decolonized & anti-racist and anti-oppressive praxis in their work, and practices using a trauma-informed attachment theory lens with an emphasis on narrative therapy. Kelsey's research & professional interests include LGBTQIA2+ older adults, SFBT, IFS, fat justice, transformational justice, and disability justice. Kelsey is really looking forward to listening to clients' stories and collaborating with

them to find a path forward alongside their grief. Kelsey has been in ATX for 12 years and lives with their Chihuahua mix Pierre. In their spare time, Kelsey enjoys reading, writing, knitting, drawing, playing video games, going to the movies, adventuring with friends in Dungeons & Dragons, and hanging in their hammock in the fresh outdoors.

Please call 512.472.7878, for an appointment.

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